Mike Wood - MP for Dudley South:

Tragically, I am sure that there will be people reading this column who have personally lost a loved one, or who have been touched by the hurt they have seen friends suffer at the loss of their loved ones. Our community has been horribly affected, like others across the country, and I send my heartfelt condolences to all of those who have lost family and friends.

I would also like to offer thanks to the many people who sent their prayers and best wishes for the Prime Minister, and his fiancée Carrie, whilst he was in intensive care last week. I know how much the many lovely messages sent by so many people meant to them both. I am obviously delighted that after receiving tremendous care, Boris is now out of hospital and recovering back at home.

Since the early days of this outbreak, it became clear we would have extremely tough times ahead, and that all of us would see our daily lives affected by the measures which have been necessary to contain the virus, if not affected by the virus itself.

Now that we are more than three weeks into the lockdown measures, many of us are feeling psychologically weary; wondering when these measures will come to an end? When life as we knew it will resume? When, as said by the Queen, will we meet again?

I really wish that I could give the people of Dudley South that date. But what our science labs and medical experts can offer us in the meantime, is confidence that we are making progress. The measures that have been introduced, and the sacrifices that are being made by so many across our community, are making a real difference.

At the end of last month, the number of new deaths was doubling every three or four days – meaning that it quadrupled each week. The changes that have been made and the care that people have taken with social distancing mean that, rather than quadrupling each week, the number of people dying each day has broadly levelled off over the past seven days. Hopefully that means that we are nearing the peak – and then we will start to see the numbers begin to fall and fewer families will suffer the pain of losing a loved one.

And that is where I will end this week’s column – to thank everyone who is playing their part.

Of course, to our heroic health care workers battling the virus on the frontline, and to our military personnel and all the emergency services who are helping to push covid-19 into retreat. But also thank you to the general public. Without their sacrifices and efforts to comply with the rules set out by Government – based on a wide range of scientific advice – then many many more people would lose their lives.

We will persevere, and we will beat covid-19.